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2024 Satch Tour Finale

Joe Satriani and Steve Vai came through Santa Rosa with a group of super talented pro musicians at the end of their "Satch" tour.

The Luther Burbank Center was packed with pro musicians on this beautiful Sunday night, May 12th. Walking into the venue was like a mini NAMM Show reunion for me. So many familiar faces gathered in the 1600+ capacity hall. I was approved to photograph the first two songs for Steve Vai (first set), the first two songs for Joe Satriani (second set) and the same for the third set of them together on stage. Then the tour manager, Alastair, a tall and very commanding Brit pulled me out and said he doesn't want me to photograph at all but allowed me to finish shooting the Steve Vai set. Sometimes misunderstandings occur in my business. One person thinks they sent me a contract to sign and the next person down the chain says no. Then the universe stepped in and my lovely friend, badass guitarist Terry Sanders sees me and greets me with a giant hug. With that he invites me to join him sitting the first row. I checked with Alastair if I can shoot the show with my phone and he allowed me to do that if I lock up my camera gear upstairs in the LBC. So of course I did. I'm telling this story because in the photo gallery below you'll see the photos of Vai playing are all shot with my camera gear and the remaining photos with Satriani are all shot on my phone. The show was divdided into three sets as descibed above. Including all three sets totaling three hours of sheer musical, (mostly instrumental), magic. For me, Vai was the most entertaining. Especially when he came out playing the "Hydra". The Hydra is a custom three neck instrument, with two guitars, a bass and a sitar in the center.

The sounds that came from all his guitars during the show were sounds I have never heard before by any guitarist ever. His band was also phenomenal. Vais' band consisted of Philip Bynoe on bass, Dante Frisiello on guitar, and Jeremy Colson on drums, all super talented musicians. Then Joe Satriani played for the second set with none other than Kenny Aronoff on the drum kit! Wow! Just wow! Kenny tipped this band over the top. Aronoff made this spectacular show even better and one of my top shows of all time! Satriani's band was Bryan Beller on bass and Raj Thistlethwayte on keys. All great players. For both the second and third sets Kenny was on the drums. Aronoff plays the drums hard and so natural. As if the drum kit was an extention of his body. Definitley one of my favorite drummers. Aronoff was John Cougar Mellencamps' drummer for many years and has played with just about everyone throughout his lengthy career.


A few years ago, for a couple consecutive years, I was hired and flown to shoot the Troubeliever Music Festival in Utah. A festival put on by Monty Powell and Anna Wilson. Kenny was one of the musicians playing one of the years I was working it. Before the show I try to aquaint myself with the players to make them comfortable with me and my camera onstage. Kenny and I chatted for quite a while before the show. When I asked him how close I can shoot without making him feel uncomfortable...he replied, "Cheryl, you can shoot from between my legs if you want, and I wouldn't miss a beat". Showtime arrived and sure enough he carved out a great place for me to shoot from, in and next to his kit onstage. He was right, he did not miss a beat. To stand in and next to his kit whilst he played with the members of the bands Kansas, Survivor and others was great. One of the most fun experiences in my photography career.


As I've always been a drum fan, I want the sticks the drummer gives to an audience member post show after the final bow. I think many years ago it happened and a drummer gave me the show sticks. But on this night Kenny handed me his, with a 'hello and our Utah working the festival together reference'. This drum fan went home a very happy girl. Then, as my friend Terry knew the band, (he played with them in Florida a few months ago). I also got to meet Philip, the badass six string bass player, after the show. All that post show combined with the amazing music I saw performed that night, put this show into my personal top thirty concerts I've seen, ever! (A very tough list to get into.)

At this point I'd normally highly recommend this Satch tour, but sadly this was the last show of this tour. However, Vai and Satriani have been friends for more than five decades, and I wouldn't be surprised if they do it again. So...if they do - DONT MISS THIS ONE AND GO!!!!! (Yes, all in CAPS). This was an EXCELLENT show! Ten out of ten from me!

Affiliate links to some guitar goodies: Vaideology: Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players - https://amzn.to/3VcprS1 Steve Vai's Guitar Workout - https://amzn.to/4bx0dmI Axe Heaven Humans Joe Satriani Silver Surfer Miniature Guitar Replica - https://amzn.to/4dKs18M The Essential Joe Satriani - https://amzn.to/3V28F7X Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll!: The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business Paperback - https://amzn.to/4annmH7 Modern Drummer Legends: Kenny Aronoff Paperback - https://amzn.to/3V16RvJ

© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2024


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